It’s safe to say that the Covid-19 pandemic took us all by surprise in the sense that it has fundamentally changed the face of human existence – and there’s no doubt more to come.
Those of us running small businesses may, or may not, be lucky enough to have financial savings or back up to get through a short time (a relative term, no doubt meaning days, weeks or months to most).
It’s a scary time to be in business. No one can quite predict what the future will bring at this time. Our minds hold to the picture we know; business, life, connection and interaction as we knew it before.
It’s a word we’re sure to hear (and likely, to read) a lot over the next while. Everything, it would seem, will evermore be compared to “before.” All of this generation will automatically know what it means when we hear it. Hopefully one day, our great grandchildren will ask, “Before what?”
BEFORE is a word we must decide that we WILL be able to use (in the future) in the most POSITIVE of ways. We accomplish that by helping ourselves and others through this where and whenever we can – with our actions NOW.
That applies in life and business. And hopefully, in a supportive, warm and lovely confluence of both. Only YOU can design it that way.
In spite of all the negative going on with this devastating virus, we can give the word “before” back it’s transformative power to the better. And we must come out of this for the better in important ways, if we are to reflect positively on this experience.
Let it roll off your tongue and allow yourself to feel it. And then, say it again.
Go ahead. Allow yourself to feel it again. It does SUCK that all was upended, seemingly in an instant. Now, let all the negative you felt about it go.
From now on, momentarily observe that feeling when it creeps up, then move forward in focused action, staying determined to make your (future) “before” feel good on reflection.
Following are 5 easy steps to ensure your business survives and thrives during the pandemic.
You and your business are already here: where you feared you may be once you realized how serious this situation was shaping up to be in reality. There’s no turning back. The economy is beyond your control. You need to re-evaluate and change your business, if it is to survive. Bottom line.
You must become resilient and profitable in order to thrive. This is not a choice anymore, but a fact.
That can mean different modes of action, or scaling, or improving efficiency for different businesses; regardless, it must be done for nearly all right now.
This is true no matter what your business is, or has been, up to this point. You need to re-think it from bottom to top with one specific goal in mind.
Our top goal for the future must be to make our every future mention of “before” a positive reflection, a glorious walk down memory lane.
That means making business better for us, and better for our employees or colleagues if we have them (yes, some of us do it all on our own).
It means making business better for your clients and customers.
It means making each and every experience in your life, your relationships big and small, better.
From this point forward, move towards the goal consciously and constantly when re-evaluating where you are, where your family and society are, where your business is and how it must adapt and change, in order to create – in the now – that glowing (future) “before.”
Re-evaluate and then make the hard decisions. Take the leap of faith that will enable you to make it so.
Reduce can mean scaling back services to the most in demand and helpful. It could mean to physically reduce inventory – maybe at less of a profit, or even at a loss. It could mean reducing your negativity in order to usher in positivity.
Let’s take a restaurant, for example (but even more so, this may apply to other retail and stores, small businesses, consultants, coaches and entrepreneurs paying for commercial space). Staying afloat for enough time to maintain your current space may not be an affordable option.
What would it take physically and financially – and would it be feasible – to relocate to a less expensive commercial kitchen-only space, thereby cutting some additional costs as well, such as insurance costs, utilities, equipment maintenance and more? Could you then offer your customers contactless delivery options – maybe even free with an order minimum total? Or curbside pickup only? Either of these would likely serve both you and your customers well in this scenario, and would likely reduce some of your costs compared to before. There it is.
Maybe this isn’t the option for your business, and that’s okay. But each and every business that is paying for space to operate out of should take this moment to consider how this option might be helpful, keep it viable or make it profitable.
Don’t delay your magnificent future by holding onto the old goals and dreams you had in the past for your business for too long. You can never get those days that slip away back.
In evaluating and making the changes you determine are necessary, consider what you already have - or have access to – and how you can use or repurpose it to make your business more efficient, or to provide something extra to your clients.
Taking this task seriously can possibly reveal some ways to save lots of money. Or, it may provide a low or no-cost way to be thoughtful or helpful to your customers; a little bit of effort truly goes a long way in this regard.
A few focused minutes of thought on this could really pay off for your business in the ultimate scheme of things.
Nothing is perfect. Ever.
Especially when adapting to a whole new world - all the while dealing with computers and the Internet, which (presumably) most will be in some way from henceforth - nothing will ever be perfect. Or completely done.
Don't waste another minute pursuing the illusion of perfection. Get the bones of it figured out and dive in.
Adapt what you have and start where you are.
In the real world, on the 'net, or both. Then roll with the punches and learn to adapt and bounce back each and every time (that will be necessary for some time to come).
Those who do will come out on top of this wave. Those who truly master the concepts here will happily bring many others with them on the journey.